Preliminary Test Results Identify Several More Variant Cases In Simcoe Muskoka

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The Health Unit says In addition to the seven confirmed cases of the UK COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 previously reported by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDH), an additional 99 individuals who have had a positive first screening test for a variant of concern have been identified. The second part of the test, whole genome sequencing, will confirm if it is a COVID-19 variant of concern and the exact type of variant. It’s expected that those results will likely be the UK variant.

Most of these preliminary individuals have a link to the Roberta Place Long Term Care home outbreak; however, two are individuals with no links.

“Our investigation into these preliminary results is early, but it appears that two persons have no known link to those individuals we recently identified as positive for the United Kingdom (UK) variant,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU). “This certainly makes us concerned that the variant may be more widespread, and that in turn means that we need to really take public health measures that prevent spread of the virus much more to heart.”

These first results follow reporting on the weekend by SMDHU of genome testing on seven COVID-19 samples identifying the United Kingdom (UK) variant, which is more contagious and transmissible. Six of those individuals are associated with the outbreak at Robert Place Long Term Care Home, and one is an individual who had close contact with a person who is also part of the COVID-19 outbreak at Bradford Valley Care Community, a long-term care home (LTCH) in Bradford West Gwillimbury. The health unit continues to investigate if that outbreak is also due to the UK variant of COVID-19.

An individual working at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (Bayfield Building), which is currently in outbreak, is one of the two individuals who have tested positive on the first screening test where no links to the Roberta Place outbreak are identified.

“I’m sharing this information because this variant is on the move in our community and the only way it can move is through people,” said Dr. Gardner. “We need to absolutely follow the stay at home order so that we can protect ourselves, those who are more vulnerable and our health care system. We need to assume that a variant of this virus is everywhere and do everything we can to drive it out.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. It would be helpful if we could vamp up testing. In muskoka the general public still can not get a test unless we have multiple symptoms or been in direct close contact with a confirmed covid case. (So for example, direct contact with a direct contact of a confirmed case does not qualify, so asymtomatic spread continues). Plz increase testing so we can get on top of community spread.

  2. Agreed!!! Asymptomatic people who are contagious can spread the virus and not know they have it.
    Contact tracing would have worked but international travel is still ve aloud . Shut the travel down from other countries to get a hold of the spread to prevent lockdowns!!!

  3. Stop regional travel for anything but work or supplies.
    North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit has. No visiting snowmobilers, no outdoor rinks or toboggan hills etc.
    It is drastic measures but just look at what the UK is experiencing with this variant. It is much worse and WILL increase exponentially very fast.
    Boris Johnson himself has warned countries who are just noticing its presence to lock everything down fast. From their experiance they were to late.

  4. I agree as well… Travel should be shut right down as well. People who are not wearing masks need a large fine!!! The “stay at home order” i have been doing for a year and only leave 1 to 2 a month for food. My children have been locked away and cut off from society/ friends / family. My 1 daughter has major issues in development but cant get the actual help she needs! Sure its good er have a vaccine but the children dont! Its not protecting them at all! Now we have to be scared of ee have a soar throat and a cough that we may not be tested! You know unless we die because then you make sure to test us just so you can blame it on covid!!!! Like the man who committed suicide and he had covid but yet you must search for the real cause. Also there are horrible stories but no recovery stories !!!! We have been at home a year i have not hugged my mother in a year she has not hugged her grandchildren!! My poppa is really ill and i cant even see him!!!! So if he dies this last year i could have been seeing him i cant !!! You want to put stuff in place ! SHUT DOWN THE AIR PORT NO ONE IN OR OUT!

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